If you enjoy the look of stone walkways, you may want to consider incorporating it into your patio flooring. Freshly laid concrete can be stamped to give it the appearance of stone at a fraction of the cost of real stone. Most people will hire a concrete contractor to have their patio installed, as stamping your own concrete can be a bit of a challenge. If you are up for trying it yourself, however, here are some instructions for you to use to make your own stamped concrete patio.
Determining The Look
Before you jump right into the project, you will want to consider the look you wish to achieve when your patio is completed. If you are interested in having colored concrete, you will want to decide if you want to place colored concrete or if you would rather paint it after it has set in place. This will help you decide what type of concrete and other materials you will need to purchase.
Laying The Concrete
When making the patio, you will need to follow the directions on the concrete to add the correct amount of water before mixing and placing. The patio should be plotted out and barriers, into which the concrete will be poured, should be set. The concrete should settle and start to harden before you start the stamping process.
Stamping The Concrete
After the concrete has started to settle, sprinkle a powdered release agent on the surface. This will allow you to use stamping tools on the concrete without having them stick to the material. Concrete stamps can be rented at a tool rental company. You will have several stamps to use, making it easy to place them across the width of your patio one after another.
Place a stamping tool on the concrete and lightly press into the concrete. Tamp it into place using your hand or a tamping tool. Set the next stamper against the first so there is no space in between them. Continue until all the stamps have been used. When you remove each tool, an impression should remain in the concrete. Place the tool on the next row of concrete and continue until your pattern has been applied throughout the patio.
You will need to work quickly, as concrete will be setting and drying as you are making impressions. It is a good idea to have your stamps laid out in the pattern you desire next to the area where you will be stamping. This will make it easier to place them properly and will save you time.
Coloring The Patio
If you used colored concrete, you will only need to add a sealant to the finished product. Wash off the powdered release agent when the concrete has dried and apply the sealer using a paintbrush.
If you stamped plain concrete, you will want to paint the surface to look like stone after it dries. This can be done with concrete paint. Use several different shades to give your patio the appearance of shadows and highlights on each stone. After the paint has dried, apply a sealant.
Experts like Planit Dirt, Inc. can give you more information.